The great urban poet Curtis Jackson gave us this quote, and while I don’t have the answers to the other 20 questions he asked, I do think I have the answer to this one: How should I feel about Jordan Barnett’s DWI?
To understand Jordan Barnett today, let’s first take a look back.
Barnett played 25 games in his two years at Texas and never started a single one. In those 25 games, Barnett only scored 53 points, went through a coaching change, and never played in the NCAA Tournament.
We could keep going but I think you get the point — things weren’t going so hot for him personally. Barnett then decides to transfer to a team closer to home that just so happens to find itself in the middle of a 10-21 season. Due to the rules, he had to sit and finally got the chance to play for a team ... that finished 8-24 and fired its head coach.
So Barnett is was finished with head coach number three (Rick Barnes, Shaka Smart, Kim Anderson) and about to move on the fourth.
We arrive to the present. Barnett is now in his senior year with yet another head coach but is poised for a breakout season. Missouri has the top high school recruit in the country and a top-five recruiting class, and excitement is restored.
An injury occurs (you know the one, don’t make me say it), and suddenly, Barnett and Canisius transfer Kassius Robertson are thrust into the spotlight and asked to lead this team to the NCAA Tournament. Boy, did they.
Kassius was named first-team All-SEC, and Barnett was one of the top 20 players in the SEC in my opinion. Missouri clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament and was headed to St. Louis, Barnett’s hometown, for the SEC Tournament. All was well.
Barnett probably played one of his worst games of the season in front of friends and family, and the Tigers were bounced from the SEC tourney before their toasted ravioli could get cold. Then, early Sunday morning happened, and just like that Barnett’s season was possibly over.
We all live with some sort of regret. We all go through life knowing we could’ve made a better choice or a different decision. Sometimes, we get a second chance to right our wrongs. Sometimes, we don’t. Life is cruel that way.
I hope for Barnett’s sake that Missouri wins on Friday so he doesn’t have to live with that level of regret. If Missouri loses, then Barnett will for the rest of his life live with knowing that he could have simply called an Uber or a friend, walked, done anything different, and played in the NCAA Tournament. He would have been there for his team.
We all know drunk driving cases don’t always end this way. Thank God no one was hurt.
But life, especially in college, is about learning from your mistakes and trying your absolute best to not make mistakes that negatively affect and impact the rest of your life. We are 40 minutes from knowing if that’s the case with Barnett. To me, he doesn’t deserve that. I want better for him.